Monday, October 12, 2015
Some People Will Protest Anything!
This story was so “out there” I had to check to make sure it was not a spoof from the Onion or other satirical website, but sure enough reputable sources like NPR and the Boston Globe confirm that a small group protesting against the hanging of Renoir paintings gathered in front of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts last week.
When they so eloquently say, “Renoir Sucks” and “God Hates Renoir,” they refer to Pierre-Auguste Renoir, born in 1841, a French Impressionist painter. They don’t object because his work was obscene or anti-American. They just don’t like it and think as a painter he “is the most overrated artist east, west, north and south of the river Seine.” Apparently his trees don’t look enough like trees (or something). Last spring, the leader started an Internet petition urging the President to "remove all of the literally awful Renoir paintings hanging in the National Gallery in Washington DC." It has been taken down for lack of support.
When looking for a cause in an attempt to shine the spotlight on himself and gather a following, is this the best someone could come up with?
I shouldn’t even care about this except that it reminded me of one more group that tries to manipulate us and gets away with it more often than is reasonable. It is not the news media and politicians that I highlighted last time. This time it’s the art critics.
(So much passes for art these days, as it is extoled by self-proclaimed artists and the professional critics that this deception could be the topic of an entire book, not just a short on-line essay – and it probably has been. In the interest of space, I will stick to one contrasting example in the visual arts.)
See this short video titled: A Visual Odyssey: Christopher Wool. This is also a serious piece (not satire) from a reputable site featuring two critics lovingly describing the artist as a “hero of our generation” with a work filled with “complexities and ambiguities.” They just go on and on pulling our leg about how he uses yellow as a “non-color” to accentuate his black and white painting. (It’s enough to make you roll your eyes until it hurts!)
See one example of his work at the left. Nothing here is even identifiable as a tree, bears the slightest resemblance to anything in nature, and looks like little more than an accident. The critics, of course, would dismiss my opinion as that of one who just didn’t have the capacity or training to “understand” such a masterpiece. And so goes the con, but how many people get drawn into these Emperor's-New-Clothes scenarios.